How Metroidvania is it? High Fit. Oliver's Adventures is a more platforming focused game, but eventually you will have all the powers that you might find in a rudimentary Metroid game.
Primary Challenge: Tricky Platforming
Time to beat: ~2 hours
Review Info: The Steam review code for Oliver's Adventures in the Fairyland was provided by the Developer
Buy Oliver's Adventures iin the Fairyland if you like…
- Frantic Platforming
- Well-Designed minimalist boss fights (There are two of them)
- Goofy game premises
- Achievements that reference pop culture
▼ Review continues below ▼
Oliver’s Adventures in the Fairyland is a very good Mini Metroidvania platformer that will provide a good 2-3 hours of polished fun. The Pixel art is fun and bouncy, and the general feel of the game is very positive and welcoming. If you’re looking for a fun time, then you can’t go wrong with this romp through the fairyland. It’s not a robust package however, and in the context of a 2019 world with its host of gaming options, the primary way it fits in is with its bite-sized length.
For the majority of the game you will be performing platforming challenges to get from Point A to Point B. At first the dungeon seems pretty well mapped out. Secrets seem to be in plain sight except with ability gating, which makes it easy (or just feasible) to understand where to go next after you find your next upgrade. By the end of the game however, this bouncing between deadends within the dungeon starts to become longer and longer, and although this isn’t a bad design for a mini-metroidvania, it wears out its welcome just a little bit. This is probably more due to the platforming challenges feeling a little samey more than it is a fault of the level design however. There are numerous gauntlets where you have to just go faster than falling platforms, or perform accuracy jumps on platforms with spikes at their sides. There is a laudable attempt at making these challenges build off the previous, but in some cases the way it upgrades the difficulty is a little too obvious – again making it feel samey. There is only one point in the game where I think it crosses the line into “too boring” or “too frustrating” territory however, so for the most part the slight repetition does not detract from the enjoyment available in the game. That one point I mention is an accuracy test that may just be a little too precise, at least for what the player up to that point had been prepared for – but it’s certainly feasible.
One of the best parts of the game, in my opinion, is the bosses. They each follow a strict pattern, making it somewhat easy to run them with no damage, though like any good boss of this type it will take some practice to get to that point. I especially had a good time with the Dragon boss you can see on the store page since I stumbled on him before I found the game’s main weapon. I recognized that I was likely missing an important item pretty quickly while fighting him, but I didn’t want to spend the time wandering somewhere else, so after spending more time on attempting to defeat him than it’d take me to just go get the dang weapon I finally took him down with just the bomb. I had fun doing it, and the fact that this is even possible tells me that even with its short length, Oliver’s Adventures in the Fairyland still has some good challenge running potential.
But, I feel like Oliver’s Adventure falls just a little short of the point of satisfaction nevertheless. This is primarily because of the lack of gimmicks or variety in its challenges as previously mentioned, but contributing to this feeling is how it handles its story. At the beginning of the game you’re greeted by a drunken wizard who tells you that you need to Metroidvania it up because the king wants his stuff, and that’s about all the plot you get. This intro teases the possibility of there being some follow-up, or payoff, but that never happens.
The Store Page boasts that Oliver’s Adventure has ”No boring dialoges!” as if to show some contempt to all the time-wasting other games have done for the sake of story. This advertisement is mostly true, however there are other ways to present a story without dialog. Story (or theming) can be important to a game because it provides the player with a reason to push past its more frustrating parts to see the mystery unfold, and it can be a catalyst in that feeling of accomplishment that comes from overcoming a challenge. It’s one thing to defeat a hard boss, but it’s even better – as an example – to blast its ugly face in with a hyper beam during the climax of a story built up over the course of the game. The intro Oliver’s Adventure makes a promise to the player that you might find a princess, get to see a greedy king, or find out more about the drunk wizard – but it doesn’t do any of these things. It’s hard not to walk away from that feeling just a little disappointed.
Nevertheless, Oliver’s Adventures in the Fairyland does provide awesome gameplay, and at its Mini-Metroidvania price and length, it’s not hard to fit into your budget or your schedule. While the game lacks a ton of variety within itself, it does at least provide two very good bosses to defeat, and can be played with a mix of other games very easily. If you enjoy Mini-Metroidvanias, you can’t go too wrong with this one.
Not really a focus, but the boss fights are really well done albeit a bit limited within the system
The game's main focus, and it's mostly good, but the types of challenges start to get repetitive pretty quickly
The general exploration design is obvious bouncing back and forth across areas for most of the game. Some of the later exploration is obtuse (But hint tools make it easier.)
Just platforming and a few boss fights, not really any puzzles per se. There are some obtuse secrets but they are too obtuse to be puzzles
Almost vehemently not a focus, to the point where the ending feels a bit empty
Appealing and bouncy pixel art gives the game a very polished feel
Music isn't particularly memorable, and it can get a little repetitive, but it doesn't detract from the experience
Besides speedrunning, very little to entice a return playthrough
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